Pictured: Students in the 2017-2018 Hillman Entrepreneurs Program
By Ambika Narula
The Hillman Entrepreneurs Program is a scholarship program that allows 30 students to come into their second year at Montgomery College and gain experience, build entrepreneurial skills, network and learn about local businesses. The Hillman Program offers many benefits for students, including being able to transfer to University of Maryland, College Park and earn a minor in Technology Entrepreneurship while completing their bachelor’s degree.
Rebecca Razavi, the program director for Montgomery College, explained how students can benefit from the program. “What we try to give students in is an experience where they are getting connected to the community, go off campus, attend networking events, service projects and meet speakers that come to seminars and talk about different things… students get the benefit of learning beyond the walls of a classroom,” she said.
However, the Hillman Progam is not the only program offered at Montgomery College. Its sister program is the Macklin Business Institute. The Macklin Business Institute is an all-honors and strictly business major program. In contrast, the Hillman Progam isn’t limited to business majors; it’s open to all majors for those interested and qualified.
“We like the diversity of our group,” Razavi said. “It’s a very diverse in terms of ethnicity, age, majors, and mindset. Everyone is unique and has different ideas that they bring to the table,” said Laura Vasquez, a student in the Hillman Program.
Hillman is the only program that offers the scholarship opportunity straight to the University of Maryland and that students can stay connected and together as they experience transitioning into Maryland. At Montgomery College, Hillman has taken a special place within the school. “You stay in the program for three years, you go over there [Maryland] and already have your community… somebody that you met, worked with, and people that are there to help your way around, figure out how things work, and take advantage of opportunities,” Razavi said.
Among its many benefits, the Hillman Program offers many opportunities for students, such as the Writing Mentor Program. Razavi created the Writing Mentor Program about three years ago when she became the program director. She believes the Writing Mentors Program is useful to students as a tool to polish their writing and receive help in the form of one-on-one sessions with a tutor.
Elysee Meredith is the organizer and mentors students in the writing program. She said “I love this program! It’s really fun having a student that you know you’re going to meet every single week and you get to really develop a relationship with them. It’s a slightly different relationship because you take a more realistic viewpoint, a more mentoring role and give broader advice.”
The Hillman program offers a lot for students and will continue to grow and expand in the future. “Everyone has their own dreams and we help the students figure out [what] that dream is and how to reach it,” said Razavi.